Based in Toronto and New York City

, Nancy Matsumoto is a writer and editor who covers sustainable agriculture, food, sake, arts and culture.

Baked Sesame Tofu

Chef Masato Miyazawa’s house specialty is this knockout dish of haute Japanese comfort food, which he packages and sells in beautiful take home boxes. Guests at his tiny Michelin-starred restaurant — imbued with the simplicity and singleness of purpose that I love in Kyoto kaiseki restaurants — sit at the counter and select a sake glass from a pretty and varied collection. An elegant procession of dishes emerges, plated on ceramic-ware so stunning it would upstage the food of a lesser chef. The baked sesame tofu arrives toward the middle of the meal, after the sashimi plate and before the grilled fish dish. The housemade tofu, thickened with kuzu (arrowroot), is baked in the oven, then drizzled with a sesame paste, honey and salt “cream.” More sesame, this time toasted and ground, finishes the dish. Rather than a light and refreshing palate cleanser, it’s a momentary lapse into luxurious richness in a meal of zen-like simplicity and restraint.

Japanese Hot Spring Inn

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